Students Receive Federal Funds for Research

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BRANDON, MB – A handful of Brandon University (BU) students has been awarded federal funding for exciting research projects in biology, physics, and chemistry.

The Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are given annually to high achievers by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), to encourage graduate studies and research careers in the sciences. Seven BU students are sharing $31,500 in USRAs, plus almost $8,000 in awards from Brandon University.

“Our University has a long, productive history of world-class research,” says Dr. Gervan Fearon, BU Vice-President (Academic and Provost), “and the NSERC Undergrad Awards help our students contribute to research projects that help all of us better understand our world and potentially affect the quality of life for members of the Brandon community and beyond.  Ultimately, these awards reflect the student experience and excellence we stride to achieve at Brandon University.”

Dr. Bernadette Ardelli with biology students Danielle Sharanowski and Katrina Cristall, NSERC Undergrad Award winners, April 2014 (web)
Dr. Bernadette Ardelli, Danielle Sharanowski, and Katrina Cristal

Students work on research projects over sixteen consecutive weeks this summer, under the direct supervision of a faculty member who holds an NSERC Research Grant. Katrina Cristall and Danielle Sharanowski are third-year science students researching drug resistance with Dr. Bernadette Ardelli, Department of Biology.

“This laboratory experience is definitely going to help me decide whether I pursue a master’s degree or move right into the workforce”, says Sharanowski.

Dr. Ardelli says the students will also receive credit for their work when research results are published in academic journals. “Not many undergrad students have the opportunity to publish,” she points out, “but it’s one advantage of the education experience at Brandon University, where professors work much more directly with students.”

The students, supervisors, and 2014 USRA projects are as follows:

1) Ryan Bergen working under Dr. Margaret Carrington (Physics) “Classifying Feyman Diagrams”

2) Katrina Cristall working under Dr. Bernadette Ardelli (Biology) “Vsg genes and antigenic variation in Cryptobia salmositica

3) Danielle Dinsdale working under Dr. Martin Lemaire (Chemistry) “New hybrid conducting spin-crossover metallopolymers”

4) Lyndon Duff working under Dr. Wendy Untereiner (Biology) “Diversity of fungi associated with the western thatching ant”

5) Danielle Sharanowski working under Dr. Bernadette Ardelli (Biology) “Functional analysis of RNAi in Cryptobia salmositica

6) Tara Steliga working under Dr. Martin Lemaire (Chemistry) “Preparation and solid state NMR properties of spin crossover metallopolymers”

7) Theresa Urichuk working under Dr. Wendy Untereiner (Biology) “Molecular characterization of fungi isolated from children’s sandboxes”

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.


For more information, please contact:
 Dr. Gervan Fearon
Vice-President (Academic and Provost)
Glen Kirby
Communications Officer


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